1. There in Calvary.
2. God in human flesh became the ultimate substitutionary sacrifice.
3. There on the cross.
4. God did not just find a solution for our dilemma.
5. God became the solution to humanities nightmare.
6. 700 years prior to Jesus’ crucifixion the prophet Isaiah in chapter 53 predicted with thorough accuracy that God in Christ will pay the full penalty of our sentence and the full price for our debt.
7. on a human level the Bible tell us that there were a number of people who were involved in sentencing Jesus to the cross.
9. Judas handed him over to the priests out of greed.
11. The priest handed him over to Pilate out of envy.
13. Pilate handed him over to the soldiers out of cowardice and fear.
14. And fourthly,
15. The soldiers crucified him.
16. Yet when Jesus was hanging on the cross in the midst of his agony he prayed Father, forgive them all, for they know not what they are doing.
17. Later on the apostle Peter tells the Jewish crowd in Jerusalem, I know you acted in ignorance as did your leaders.
18. And on the day of Pentecost, Peter said to them, let all Israel be assured of this God has made this Jesus, whom you have crucified both Lord and Christ.
19. But on a spiritual level,
20. Jesus did not die the death of a martyr.
21. On the contrary,
22. Jesus went to the cross voluntarily.
23. Jesus went to the cross deliberately.
24. Jesus told them from the beginning that he came from heaven so that he may go to the cross.
25. So, who delivered Jesus up to die?
26. Not Judas for money.
27. Not Pilate for fear.
28. Not the priests over envy.
29. But the Father delivered him for love.
30. Jesus went voluntarily for love.
31. Love for you and for me so you and I can look at the cross and say this.
32. I sent him to the cross.
33. My sins sent him to the cross.
34. My disobedience sent him to the cross.
35. My rebellion sent him to the cross.
36. The debt that you and I are born with has only one punishment and it is eternal death.
37. And the only man that was born without that debt of sin hanging around his neck was Jesus of Nazareth.
38. He had no sin of his own nature.
39. He had no sin of his own character.
40. He had no sin of his own conduct.
41. If there’s only one human being that does not qualify for the wages of sin and the punishment of sin it was the Lord Jesus Christ.
42. And yet because of his sinlessness.
43. Because of his purity.
44. Because of his divinity.
45. He was the only one who can truly qualify to take my place and your place and pay your debt and my debt.
46. Please listen carefully to what I am going to tell you.
47. This whole notion of substitution where one person takes the place of another is always considered a noble action.
48. In Exodus 32:32 Moses was willing to be blotted out of Yahweh’s book if that would help to get Israel forgiven.
49. In Romans 9: 1 and 4 Paul expresses a similar notion.
1. This was a human life for a human life.
2. But on the cross God in Christ substituted himself for you and for me.
3. Let’s focus just for a few minutes on four imageries that the Bible tells us that the cross has accomplished.
6. It is the imagery of the temple and sacrifice.
9. It is the imagery of the market place.
12. Is the imagery of the law court.
15. The imagery of the home and the family.
16. Let us look at those very briefly.
17. The Bible said that when Jesus died on the cross he satisfied the justice of God.
18. God’s holiness and righteousness demanded justice.
19. And justice is our eternal condemnation.
20. When the Bible speaks of the wrath of God,
21. It does not mean that God is a temperamental tyrant who flies of the handle at the slightest provocation.
22. That’s a false perception of God.
23. There is nothing capricious or arbitrary about the holy God.
24. His wrath is neither mysterious nor irrational.
25. His anger is neither malicious, nor spiteful or vindictive.
26. God’s judgement is never unpredictable.
27. It is only provoked by evil and evil alone.
28. In fact, the gospel tells us again and again that God is the one who went out of his way to exercise grace.
29. God is the one who did what no one could do.
30. God is the one who took the initiative out of his sheer mercy and grace to provide a way for forgiveness for salvation and escape from his wrath.
31. It was God’s love that compelled him to watch his Son carry my sin and yours on his sinless body.
32. It was God’s grace that made Jesus willingly go to the cross and bear my share of guilt upon himself.
33. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking God loves us because Christ died for us.
35. Christ died for us because God loved us.
36. If God’s wrath needed to be satisfied it was God’s love which satisfied his justice.
37. Only God our Creator can stand in my place and receive my eternal death and suffer my just reward on the cross.
38. On the cross not only did Christ satisfy God’s justice but secondly he redeemed us.
39. To redeem is to buy back.
40. To redeem is to pay a ransom.
41. Propitiation focuses on the wrath of God which was placated by the cross.
42. Redemption focuses on our state of slavery to sin.
43. And that needed to be redeemed and set us free from the dominion of sin.
44. In redeeming of a property is freeing it from mortgage.
45. In redeeming of a slave it is to set him free.
46. And in redeeming us from sin, Jesus freed us from the dominion of sin.
47. My listening friends I want to ask you this.
48. Are you addicted to alcohol?
49. Are you addicted to drugs?
50. Are you addicted to pornography?
51. Are you addicted to love of money?
52. I have good news for you today.
53. Redemption by the cross means that freedom is yours if you want it.
54. You notice I said if you want it.
55. Jesus wants to set you free but you have to be willing to let him.
56. In fact, that is why the apostle Paul asked incredulously in I Corinthians 6:18.
57. Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit whom is in you whom you have received from God?
58. If you are a Christian when you live addiction you are saying yes, my soul is redeemed but not this area or that area in my life.
59. If you are a born again believer, you are owned by God three times over.
60. By creation God owns you.
61. By redemption God owns you.
62. By indwelling of the Holy Spirit God owns you.
63. My listening friend, listen carefully to what I am going to tell you.
64. Sin and Satan have no business holding you under their grip or enslaving you or dominating you.
65. You are bought and paid for, give your owner a chance to free you up.
66. You are Jesus’ property, live like you are.
67. But if you are a person who has never committed your life to Jesus Christ.
68. The one who died for you.
69. You can do that today.
70. Now let’s summarize this again.
72. On the cross Jesus satisfied God’s justice.
74. On the cross.
75. Jesus redeemed us from the slavery of sin.
76. Then we come thirdly,
77. On the cross Jesus justified us.
78. We go from the image of the temple to the marketplace to the courthouse.
79. In redemption Jesus paid our debt and cancelled our liability.
80. But in justifying us, he covers us with a righteous standing before God.
81. When Martin Luther discovered the truth about justification by faith he called it the principle article of all Christian doctrine.
82. Others called it the strong rock and the foundation of the Christian faith.
83. Still others called it the heart and the hub the paradigm and essence of the whole economy of God’s saving grace.
84. Justification is not the same as amnesty which is pardon without principle.
85. It is not the same as forgiveness which overlooks the wrong doing.
86. That is not the kind of justification the Bible talks about here.
87. Justification is an act of gracious justice.
88. When you come to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith and say Lord, I have sinned.
89. The courts of heaven will say, guilty as charged.
90. Because God never winks at sin.
91. But then Jesus comes in and he says, I paid for his crime.
92. And the Holy Spirit says, Hallelujah, you are set free.
93. Grace and faith are inseparable.
94. Faith has only one function.
95. Faith receives what grace freely offers.
96. We are not justified by our faith as some tend to say.
97. We are justified by grace and the blood of the lamb.
98. Faith only stretches out its hand and takes.
1. And that is why the apostle Paul could confidently say.
2. Every child that is born into the world has a spiritual price tag of debt hanging around his or her neck.
3. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
4. Why not Paul?
5. Because on the cross God did for us what we could never do for ourselves.
6. On the cross God did what the law could never do for us.
7. Because Jesus was condemned we were set free.
8. Because Jesus’ body was broken we became spiritually mended.
9. Because Jesus was humiliated, we became dignified.
10. Because Jesus was bloodied we became cleansed.
11. Because Jesus was nailed to a cross, we were pulled away from the jaws of death.
12. Because Jesus was lashed with whips, we were comforted.
13. Because Jesus died, we shall live forever.
14. Then I come to the fourth and the last.
15. On the cross we are reconciled to God the Father.
16. Most people understand this fourth one more than the other three perhaps.
18. Because we understand reconciliation.
19. It is the imagery of the house and the home.
20. You and I were at enmity with God.
21. We were not on talking terms.
22. He demanded purity and we were incapable of producing it.
23. He demanded perfect obedience to the law and we could not obey him.
24. Until Jesus met all these demands, peace with God was impossible.
25. And because Jesus called his father, Abba, he qualified us to do the same.
26. Because Jesus had access to the Father he gave that access to his followers.
27. In fact, it was God who was reconciling us to himself through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
28. What a deal!
29. Here are the four things that we must remember that the cross reminds us of.
31. The cross satisfied God’s justice and wrath.
33. The cross redeemed us by setting us free from the captivity of sin.
35. The cross justifies us by his grace.
37. The cross reconciles us to God and put an end to our enmity with God.
38. So as I conclude I am going to ask you that question again.
39. Who crucified the Lord?
40. We did.
41. Judas’ greed was our greed.
42. The priests envy was our envy.
43. Pilate’s ambitions and fears were our ambitions and fears.
44. There’s a song that says, were you there when they crucified my Lord.
45. And the answer is yes, I was there.
46. So were you.
47. I was there with all of my greed, hatred, envy, anger, and unforgiveness.
48. I was there with all of my shame and guilt, plotting and scheming, betraying and handing him over to be crucified.
49. So were you.
50. You were there.
51. But I’m also here washed by his blood.
52. I have been redeemed by his cross.
53. I have been justified by his grace.
54. I have been reconciled to the Father through the Son.
55. What about you?
56. If you have not come to the Lord Jesus Christ, I invite you to come to him today.
57. If you could say that I have never understood the cross but now I do.
58. The hand of God is open to welcome you saying come to me.
59. It is my urging of you that you would do that today.
60. And then write to us and tell us that you have done that.
61. Until then, I pray for God’s richest blessing.